Music has had an inspiring impact on people’s lives. It transcends racial and cultural divisions, and has played a vital role in helping to heal war-torn nations. War always has a devastating effect, and those who feel the brunt of war the most are usually women and children. The war in Bosnia was no different. With over 38,000 civilian casualties, the Bosnian War was the first case of genocide in Europe since World War II. While politicians did nothing about the massacres taking place right on the European doorstep, the music industry stepped up to the plate.
In 1995, Paul McCartney, Blur, Radiohead, Oasis, and other artists recorded the iconic ‘Help’ album in three days. Over 20 years later, ‘Help’ is still a charity album that all others are compared to. Some of the proceeds from the album helped build the Pavarotti Music Center in Bosnia, which provided music therapy to children from all sided of the conflict. Iron Maiden Bruce Dickinson was smuggled into the country to play a concert, and British composer Nigel Osborne also took it upon himself to help heal the children of Bosnia through music.
Osborne travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 90s to help the children there forget the gruesome images they had seen during the war. He continues to spread music around the globe, bringing music to children in conflict zones in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and in eastern Africa. It is a known fact that music can succeed where conventional therapy, and sometimes even surgery, has failed. It is testament to the power of music, that when all else fails, music can penetrate conflict zones and make a significant difference in the lives of those affected.
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